Atlassian Responds

Well, it’s been quite a week. For one thing, Thursday saw almost 1700 page views. That over tripled the previous one-day record. And two, I got almost immediate feedback that Atlassian had seen the post and was not happy with what they read. So it’s time to review the various pieces of feedback I’ve gotten over the week, Atlassian’s formal response, and what I think of it.

First, some corrections.

So, let me first set the record straight. In last week’s article, I said there was no mention of Data Center over the whole Team ’22 event. Well, this wasn’t exactly true, but most attendees wouldn’t have been aware, and there was no way for those of us who were Virtual to know about it.

As part of their annual conference, Atlassian hosts a special event for customers of their TAM program called TAM Day. Unfortunately, Atlassian did not record this session for Virtual Attendees who also happened to be TAM customers, such as myself and my team. Likewise, you cannot attend if you are not a TAM Customer. But at this event, Atlassian’s Partha Kamal and Disha Rustogi went over the plans and updates Atlassian has planned for Data Center.

I’ve already pointed this out to Atlassian, but having these updates in such a closed forum did nothing to help the perception that Atlassian had completely abandoned Data Center for this Team Event. So when Atlassian said they wanted to make things right, I asked rather than dealing with my team or me individually, they release something publicly so everyone could read it. In this regard, Atlassian did not disappoint.

Atlassian’s Formal Response

Yesterday Afternoon, Atlassian’s Gosia Gulgowska-Kowalska posted a response to my and other’s concern about “The Future of Data Center.” 

I encourage you to read it for yourself and add your comments to the post. No, really, now! I’ll wait.

My Thoughts

First, let me start by saying I sincerely appreciate Atlassian putting this statement together. Considering the tone of most of my writing here is very much Pro-Atlassian, I can imagine that last week’s article came rather unexpectedly, as did the response where more people seemed to agree with my general statement than disagree. 

However, after Team ’22, I was deeply bothered by the apparent lack of Data Center content and felt I could not ignore the topic and still do justice to the position the readers of this blog have given me. And while Atlassian’s response did little to change my opinion of the situation, it at least shows they are aware of the impression most people seemed to have following the conference. 

As far as the content of the post, it was not surprising. It seemed to confirm Cameron Deatsch’s comments I posted last October – which was that we should expect little – if any – user-facing features in Data Center moving forward. However, I still feel this is a mistake.

As I stated in a direct comment on Atlassian’s post, I believe large companies can absolutely use tools like Compass, Atlas, and Jira Work Management. It was these large companies I had in mind when I was talking with Atlassian about their new Jira Core revamp during the development of Jira Work Management. And many of these large companies – for a myriad of reasons – have chosen to make Jira Data Center their preferred home.  

Don’t get me wrong; as a DC customer, I want security and performance improvements. But I also want new features to wow my users as well as my fellow Jira Admins. Unfortunately, I think Atlassian is missing a huge opportunity to make the lives of the people using some of the largest deployments of their toolset easier and more efficient. 

The cynic in me wants to say that this is intentional. That Atlassian purposely tries to make Cloud more attractive by withholding features that would otherwise make sense to have On-Prem.  

However, I fully admit that the opposite could be true: The architecture of the Data Center products makes it such that adding these features would prove an undue and expensive burden, which otherwise would not make business sense. However, if the latter were the case, I would hope that Atlassian would have addressed this apparent Tech Debt in their upcoming Jira 9.0 release. Unfortunately, this does not appear to be the case as of this writing.

Lastly, I want to draw your attention to one line in particular that a reader pointed out to me.

Any feature or capability that is currently on our public roadmap will be delivered and supported even if it is outside the bounds of our aforementioned future investment.

Gosia Kowalska, “The Future of Atlassian Data Center“, 19 Apr 2022

Please go back to the article and read that passage in context. While granted, it does leave the option open to add to that roadmap in the future; it sounds like a final statement. I read such a passage: “We will finish with the roadmap we have now, even if it costs more than expected, but don’t expect more beyond that.” Again, as I’ve stated, I could be wrong, and I sincerely hope I am. But it does have an ominous tone to it. 

Why the Cloud hate?

I don’t hate Cloud. I think it’s a fantastic option for start-ups and is excellent for companies large and small that can afford to go over there. But I also know that there are many reasons an organization would choose to stay on Premise with their critical instances. Some like the security of having a system with all their secrets behind a firewall. Some have regulatory obligations to control their data. I’ve even heard a rumor of a U.S. DoD instance on an ultra-secured network that is completely isolated from the Internet. 

And I feel Atlassian should fully support their customers wherever they need to be. And as a Data Center customer, it’s honestly felt like Atlassian has recently fallen short for us. Even my users – who are not tuned into the Atlassian Ecosystem like I need to be – notice that they don’t see new features despite recent Jira Upgrades.  

But, I’m just one man. I have a megaphone, but I’m not thinking anything I say will change Atlassian’s mind. And, to be fair, I’m shocked that my first post blew up like that or that Atlassian felt the need to respond to me. So in that sense, I’ve already far exceeded what I hoped would come of all this.  

Aren’t you moving the goal post?

I mean, if I squint, I could see how you could view it as such. But I don’t think so. Let me explain:

My post last week responded to how, from my vantage point, Atlassian seemed to be going out of their way to avoid talking about Data Center. And to be entirely fair, Atlassian has addressed that concern 100%.

Let me repeat that in bold.  Atlassian has addressed the concern I brought up last week. They are now talking publicly about their Data Center products roadmap, which is more than I could have hoped for.

However, in their response, I now have a new concern, which is what I’m expressing here. Will Atlassian also address this concern? Honestly, I doubt it. I think this is baked into their long-term plan. And while they have no plans to end of life or end of support for their Data Center offerings, I still can’t help feeling it’s still the ultimate goal, and the DC Feature Drought is just one part of that goal. 

What do you think?

Are you satisfied with Atlassian’s response? Does it raise any new concerns for you? Please let me know in the comments!

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And one last note. If you are in the Atlanta area, I hope you will join me, Old Street Solutions, and the Atlanta ACE at the Battery for networking and fun! I hope to see you there!

But until next time, my name is Rodney, asking, “Have you updated your Jira issues today?”


4 Comments

  1. “Adding these features would prove an undue and expensive burden”

    But prices have also increased significantly for licenses…shouldn’t that offset any additional expense/burden? In fact, DC revenue is growing fast.

    I really hope the roadmap actually adds some noticeable features. In two years when the ‘state-of-art’ for webapps has shifted, using Jira will start feeling like using SAP.

    From a tweet: “The best part of jira is that you can go from a page that looks like it was designed by a web3 startup to a page from the 90s in like 1 click.”

    How cool would it be to add in-line editing for the Issue Navigator for example (JWM)? Or start supporting hi-res avatars? Give users an emoji keyboard. Improve the slack add-on for creating tickets. Improve the Activity Stream so users see more relevant things. Synchronized boards when updates occur across users. Drafts so users don’t lose their edits/comments after being inactive. I can go on and on and on…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed! Given the dramatic price increases from Server to DC are still fresh in the eyes of management (at various companies where I need to justify annual license expenses) – aside from security updates*, why are there so few quality of life updates to the DC product suite?

      * security updates should be par for the course for a company to provide.

      Like

  2. The push to move everyone into the cloud is tiresome. We need in house servers for our contracts. I hate their push for it and it feel like we are going to wither on vine until one we just switch to something new.

    Like

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